Living with Wing Chun

Wing Chun Applied to ‘Day-to-Day’ Living

While some choose to associate martial arts with violence; there are many deeper perspectives imbedded in them for those willing to look beyond surface level applications.

Some of the subtle perspectives which I have gained through practice include an increased sense of:

Sensitivity to environmental changes and the mannerisms of others

  • If you do not know what is going on; it is impossible to apply any of the principles/techniques in a timely manner and you are purely reliant on “luck” or “chance” –this invites disaster.
  • Sensitivity is critical to perceiving the actions and intentions of others, in the moment, as events are unfolding.
  • Sensitivity can often be linked to your level of knowledge and experience.
  • Be aware; know what is relevant and conversely what is not; why, when, and where
  • You won’t be able to take advantage of opportunities or mitigate threats you don’t notice.

Acceptance of situations, circumstance, and events

  • Acceptance is one of the key attributes required to be good at kung-fu and/or life as one must acknowledge situations, others, relative competencies, and circumstance for what they are; not for what they want them to be.
  • Things are what they are. You must fully accept a reality before you may accurately adjust and come to favorable terms with it.
  • Acceptance of reality is the second step of preparing for a situation; perception is the first.

Ensure you have proper knowledge and understanding of any opposition

  • If you commit before understanding and knowing what you are up against you will often fail.
  • Knowing your opponent often isn’t enough; you must also understand how he/she/they function to properly mitigate and/or disrupt them with the fewest resources possible.
  • You must know and understand all capabilities and motivations of your opponents; as quickly as possible.
  • Do not allow your opponent to move or apply resources without knowledge and understanding of strength, composition, disposition, intent, and potential impact on you or your efforts.
  • This concept enables proper and efficient proactive/reactive application of resources and is codependent with all other concepts.
  • Figure out where their core and center of balance are and press to gain maximum advantage. Like the “King” in chess; keep the king in check to prevent the enemy from focusing on anything else.
Authentic Wing Chun

Quickly find and hold the 'center'

  • Identify the core issues and key points before your opposition does.
  • If forced to compromise on an issue; know and understand what is acceptable and unacceptable.
  • Acquire the most efficient and effective approach possible to any given situation. This could be a physical position, a philosophical or moral point, or an operational/practical approach to a task.
  • Every mindful opponent will try to seize the center from you; if they are successful; take it back or adjust circumstance to create a ‘new’ center as quickly as possible.
  • Once found, one must never deviate; deviation from the ‘center’ may result in failure or losing one’s way to irrelevance. –never give up the center; no matter how difficult the opposition may be.
  • Do not entangle yourself with a “cause” for the sake of the “cause” always consider the reasons for something to exist in the first place.
  • Never confuse the viewpoints of superiors with the “center;” often they have it; but sometimes they don’t. If friendly, help them find it. If hostile, holding the center can offset their authority and balance (like destabilizing a larger and stronger opponent).

Acquire and sustain advantageous positioning

  • Take the center and hold the “high ground” whenever possible.
  • Proper positioning in relation to your opponent and/or goals often determine the outcome of situations.
  • Advantageous positioning enables properly applied resources to have a multiplied effect while diminishing the impact of hostile efforts and resources.
  • Change the direction of your efforts and/or that of an enemy to strike at their core and most vital points while reducing your own vulnerability.
Authentic Wing Chun

Taking the first step

  • Every chore, project, or fight starts with a “first” action; make it yours or take advantage of it.
  • Connect and be aware of any obstacles, opponents, or anything else that may bar your way.
  • U.S Army doctrine[1], “make first contact using the smallest element possible” this means don’t commit all your resources too soon or before you know what you are up against.
  • Once you commit all your resources, all your resources will be known by your adversaries.

Rapidly adjust commitment to positions, perceptions, and actions during the moment of change

  • Circumstance can change quickly; new information or technology may become available; and/or people may suddenly alter behavior or intent.
  • Change as necessary, but not when unnecessary or unfavorably. –evolve vs. devolve.
  • One must be prepared to make sudden proportionally significant changes to not only keep up; but come out ahead in situations.
  • Keep your head in the “now” but be mindful of the past; it’s how you got here; be mindful of the future; its where you are going.

Avoid force-on-force confrontations when possible

  • This doesn’t mean walk away from every fight or conflict. It simply means take the most efficient and economic approach to achieving your goals as possible.

Sometimes one may not be able to avoid a “head on collision;” however, one must realize that being in a “head on collision” is not the purpose of starting your car in the morning.

Authentic Wing Chun